Free Printable Summer Bucket List for Kids

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Are you ready to enjoy an epic summer break with your whole family? A great way to help generate fun ideas as well as included activities that both older kids and little kids can enjoy is to create the ultimate summer bucket list.

Grab this free summer bucket list printable so that you can prioritize what your kids of all ages want to do this summer.

bucket list printable on beach towel with sunhat, markers, and sunscreen.

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I have long been the fan of the summer to-do list, aka summer bucket list for kids. A friend hooked me onto the idea when my kids were very young, and it’s been a summer tradition ever since, even now with just two teenagers left in the mix.

Over the years we’ve had so much fun, visiting the splash pad, planning road trip fun, winning prizes in the summer reading program — and more.

Why Create a Summer Bucket List

If you don’t already plan a list of fun activities to do over summer vacation, here’s why you should:

1. No more “I’m bored, Mom”.

If you have a list of new things to does well as those that your kids have already expressed an interest in, then you’re less likely to hear complaints that they’re bored. By planning fun in advance, you cut boredom off at the pass.

2. Time is passing.

You know the story of putting the big rocks in the jar first? If you don’t make time for the important things, there won’t be room for them later. Make time this summer while your kids are still on your watch. They will be grown and flown before you know it!

3. It’s fun!

Who doesn’t want to have a bonfire in their own backyard, toast marshmallows, or make homemade ice cream?! These things truly are favorite summer activities. We can all use more of that, especially us adults. Enjoy the simple pleasures of the summer days with your kids.

How to Create Your Own Summer Bucket List

To have the best summer possible, include your whole family in the planning process. One night when everyone is home is the perfect time to plan.

boy building sand castles at the beach.

Celebrate summer. Give your planning session a festive vibe by serving a fun summer dessert, like s’mores, ice cream sundaes, or a homemade pie.

Give each kid his or her own list to fill out. Be sure to grab our free printable from the Life as Mom library. Subscribe to get instant access to the printable.

Gather around the table and let the kids brainstorm. Don’t naysay anything. Let them have free rein to dream big. 

Be sure to help younger ones fill out their lists. They may really want to know how to spell something, though this is an instance where creative spelling is okay. Have younger kiddos dictate to you the things that they want to do this summer.

Combine ideas. Gather all the lists or have the kids read theirs aloud to the family. Then compile the different options into one family list. It’s a great idea to spend some time chatting about why they want to do certain activities or what new experiences they want to explore.

Have a conversation. Consider these questions to get the discussion going:

  • What about X is interesting to you?
  • What do you remember about the last time we did X?
  • How much do you think X would cost?
  • How long do you think we’d need to do X?

Post it front and center. Keep the master list in a central location so that it’s in sight and in mind. The best way to enjoy a great summer is to be proactive. Your summer bucket list is just the start. Schedule a few things each week so you can make sure they happen.

Plan some extras. Generate some bonus ideas in case your kids suggest too many pie-in-the-sky ideas. Check out our practically free family night ideas.

Keep track. Encourage your kids to check things off their personal lists as you do them. It will be a fun record of your summer fun!

Budget Strategies for the Summer Months

Creating a summer to do list is absolutely free. But, your kids may dream up things to do that are far outside the budget or not possible to fit into your summer schedule. What do you do then? Consider these budget strategies for summer fun:

Budget in advance. If you think ahead at the start of summer season, you can better plan for the things that might cost money and you can have a great time filling in the blanks with cheap or fun things to do. Create a budget now and agree to stick to it.

You don’t need to list expensive things at all! Communicate to your kids your budget and make that part of the process of adding things to the master list. There are tons of things to do that are cheap or free.

Make FREE part of the game. Challenge your kids to think of free things you can do this summer. Bike rides, play time at local parks, and building forts in the living room won’t cost you a penny.

Grab our free printable.

summer bucket list printable on an ipad superimposed on a bed of grass.

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Planning with this free summer bucket list for kids is a great way to make the most of your summer vacation.

More Summer Fun Ideas

What works for you?

Leave a comment below and let us know what works for you.

This post was originally published on May 20, 2013. It has been updated for content and clarity.

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One Comment

  1. Great post. I do the same thing with my 4 kids. I give them all a sheet of binder paper (OK, so I totally write down my 2 & 4 year olds lists, lol) and have them write down the things they want to do. Things range from nice and simple to um, no we won’t be able to afford all of these things, but it’s a great place to start. I definitely like your list sheet better and will be using it instead =) Thanks for the fun read! Cheers =)